Euroseas Ltd. (NASDAQ: ESEA), an owner and operator of dry-bulk and container carrier vessels and provider of seaborne transportation for dry-bulk and containerized cargoes, announced yesterday that it signed a memorandum of agreement to purchase the M/V EM Athens and EM Oinousses, both feeder size containership vessels of 2,506 TEUs built in 2000.
The Company also announced that it acquired the option to purchase from Euromar two additional container vessels, the M/V EM Corfu, a feeder size containership vessel of 2,556 TEU built in 2001, and the M/V Akinada Bridge, a post-Panamax size container vessel of 5,600 TEU built in 2001 until September 30, 2017.
The vessels are to be acquired for a combined amount of about $25 million from Euromar LLC (Euromar), a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company that previously was partially owned by the Company, as discussed below. The Company plans to finance the acquisitions with a combination of debt and equity. The vessels are expected to be delivered to the Company in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Furthermore, the Company announced that it acquired the 85.714% interest in Euromar it did not already own for a nominal cost. As a result of the acquisition, Euromar, which was a joint venture among the Company and two private equity firms, became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company. The Company has provided no guarantees to Euromar's lenders, and none of the lenders has any recourse against the Company. Euromar, in addition to the four vessels sold or expected to be sold as described above, owns five other vessels, four of which are feeder containerships and one Intermediate size containership.
Aristides Pittas, Chairman and CEO of Euroseas, commented: "We are very pleased to proceed with the acquisition of the four container vessels, which increases our fleet in the containership feeder sector and is accretive to our shareholders. We are further pleased to take full ownership of Euromar and we are looking forward to working constructively with its lenders to maximize the value of its remaining vessels for the benefit of our shareholders and all parties involved. We are encouraged by the stronger drybulk and containership markets during the last few months and we hope to be able to capitalize on the continuing improvement of both sectors for the benefit of our shareholders."
About Euroseas Ltd.:
Euroseas Ltd. was formed on May 5, 2005 under the laws of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to consolidate the ship owning interests of the Pittas family of Athens, Greece, which has been in the shipping business over the past 140 years. Euroseas trades on the NASDAQ Capital Market under the ticker ESEA.
Euroseas operates in the dry cargo, dry-bulk and container shipping markets. Euroseas' operations are managed by Eurobulk Ltd., an ISO 9001:2008 certified affiliated ship management company which is responsible for the day-to-day commercial and technical management and operations of the vessels. Euroseas employs its vessels on spot and period charters and through pool arrangements.
Including the four vessels mentioned above and the five additional vessels owned by Euromar, the Company has a fleet of 23 vessels in the water, including one Kamsarmax dry-bulk carrier, three Panamax dry-bulk carriers, one Ultramax dry-bulk carrier, one Handymax dry-bulk carrier, sixteen Feeder containerships and one post-Panamax containership; in addition to the fleet in the water, the Company has a Kamsarmax newbuilding contract. With the addition of the Kamsarmax newbuilding, Euroseas will have seven drybulk carriers with a total cargo capacity of 499,753 dwt, and after the acquisitions described above and the five additional vessels owned by Euromar, the Company will have seventeen containerships with a total cargo capacity of 39,279 TEUs.